"Are you living your life by labels sin has given you or by names God gave you?" by: Caleb Gibson

   Am I just a sinner saved by grace? Am I a saint? Or am I both? 
   Semantics is the “study of meaning.” I believe that this question has become a bit of semantics. It all has to do with the definition of the word, sinner. 
   If by sinner you mean, “someone who sins” then we are all sinners. On the other hand, if by sinner I mean, “we are born sinners” then only those who are non-believers fall into this category. 
   Why? Because we have been made a new creation through the cross. Our old self has died and we are now born again and are now dead to sin. I play basketball here and there, but I would not introduce myself as a basketball player. Why? Because that is not my identity. Yes, it is something I do from time to time, but it is not something I am defined by. 
   Have I sinned, yes. Do I attach myself to the title of being a sinner? No.
   The Bible says clearly, “For just as through the disobedience of the one man (Adam) the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man (Jesus) the many will be made righteous.” (Romans 5:19). 
   When were we made sinners? When Adam sinned. By one man’s sin, we were all made sinners. It doesn’t matter if you never sinned in your life, you would still be a sinner. 
   In man’s definition of the word sinner is man’s actions, but the Bible’s definition of a sinner is by, “the one man’s actions (Adam).” In the same way, we are not made righteous by our action, but we are made righteous by, “the one man’s action (Jesus).”  
   Without Christ I am a sinner unable to help myself, but with Christ I am a saint enabled to do the work of God! 
   I’m not advocating that we ignore our sin, I’m advocating that we place our eyes on Christ. Timothy Keller once said, “For every one look at your sin, take five looks at your savior.” The Christians life is not about being sin-consciousness, it is about being Christ-conscious.
Paul wrote his letter to the church in Ephesus for, “…the saints who are at Ephesus…” (Ephesians 1:1). When he wrote to the church in Corinth he called them all saints. 
   He said, “To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ…” (1 Corinthians 1:2). In the mind of Paul all believers are saints in the church.  
   The word translated for “saint” is the Greek word hagios. When you look at the first mention of this word in the New Testament it is used to describe the Holy Spirit. This is found in Mathew 1:18 which says that Mary, “…was found with child of the Holy (hagios) Ghost.” You could call the Holy Spirit a saint. He is the Spirit of the Saints. He is our holiness. 
   When we call someone a saint, we are not saying their life is perfect but that they are holy because of Jesus. When you look across the aisle at church, see you’re your fellow believers as saints. 
   Treat them with respect and love because they are set apart by God. Are you living your life by the labels sin has given you or by the names that God has given to you?
If you enjoyed this column, you can hear me preach at High Five Church every Sunday at 10:30 a.m.

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